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AppLovin Amplify Tokyo: Here’s the Recap!

by Amy Mills on Jan 10, 2020

This year, we kicked off our 2020 event series in Asia with AppLovin Amplify Tokyo. This two-day event saw more than 70 in attendance from over five countries — all eager to learn the latest monetization strategies, improvements to user experience and security, and the latest creative trends.

Our event began on Thursday evening for an opening dinner at Uokin where traditional Japanese cuisine was served. Guests mingled and networked between courses of fresh sashimi and over sake.

Friday afternoon kicked off with registration and lunch with fellow attendees gearing up for an afternoon of content ahead. First, Idil Canal, General Manager of MAX took the stage to welcome Amplify guests and give a preview of the content to come. Then, our first panel of the day began with Daniel Rowland, Strategic Partner Manager at Facebook Audience Network and Taisei Tanaka, CEO at Geisha Tokyo in a conversation about sustaining mobile gaming growth, moderated by Nori Hayashi, Country Manager Japan at AppLovin. The three discussed how in a constantly changing industry, developers need a monetization strategy that adapts to growth over time.

“As game developers, our main priority is to develop fun games that become hits. We can focus on this priority by trusting professionals like AppLovin to help us with monetization,” said Taisei from Geisha Tokyo. In-app bidding is emerging as this new standard, supplying both publishers and advertisers with increased growth and revenue. 

Next up, Idil returned to the stage to host a panel with Johannes Heinze and Thomas Heinze, Co-founders at Popcore on how to boost your mobile game to the App Store Top 10 with MAX. Thomas and Johannes shared how MAX helped them not only increase revenue, but also allowed them to redirect crucial time typically spent on iterating their monetization process to improving their gaming experience for users. “Speed is very important to us. To give you an idea of how fast we work, we came up with the idea of our game Sandwich at the beginning of a month, and by the end of the month we had 20 million downloads,” said Thomas. 

After a quick coffee break, attendees were refueled for the final two afternoon panels. First, AppLovin’s Sunny Bhasin moderated a panel with Michael Chronister, Manager – Advertising & Monetization at Brainium, Matt Frankenstein, Senior Manager of Ad Network Partnerships & Operations at Zynga, and Omri Weinberg, General Manager USA of AppLovin Israel on protecting user experience. Each spoke on the effects that ads can have on your players, and how it is essential to protecting your brand’s integrity and user experience. Mobile software development kits (SDKs) can not only have an impact on how your user perceives your brand, but ultimately on retention and your bottom line. “It’s vital that the ads in our games do not create a bad user experience. SafeDK has been extremely helpful in making sure this does not happen,” said Michael from Brainium.

Our final panel of the day focused on the creative side of ads. AppLovin’s Design Manager Sam Pena and Amanotes’s Marketing Lead Katie Van discussed how to leverage the creative influence from ads to ultimately drive marketing and product strategy. Sam opened up the panel by first discussing best practices in creating ads.”When producing videos for your product, ensure that you are narrowing the focus to a small subset of features you would like to highlight. While it may be tempting to want to show the user everything your product is capable of — it’s best to focus on 1-2 features at a time so that your viewer is not overwhelmed.” 

The two then went on to discuss how testing ad creatives is a good sounding board for your game’s overall marketability, and ultimately, what gameplay is and isn’t resonating with players. “At Amanotes, we have found that playable and video ads are most effective in our UA strategy, so we do a lot of A/B testing to get the best possible results,” said Katie. “We’ve started to use creatives to influence our product strategy as well. For example, when preparing video ads specifically for our Japanese audience, we tested using Japanese music. The results were so positive that we ended up incorporating more Japanese music into our actual game.” Sam and Katie then concluded this session by looking at real-life examples of effective ads.

We commenced our day of learning with a closing party around the corner at the Trunk Hotel. Attendees enjoyed delicious snacks and craft cocktails while networking and discussing learnings from the day. We even had a surprise in store! With so many guests traveling from outside of Japan to this event, we wanted to highlight some of Japan’s unique culture. A special musical performance took place featuring shamisen — a traditional Japanese instrument. Attendees loved this final cap to two great days of content!

Thanks to all of our attendees for joining us for another successful Amplify! For more info on AppLovin events, subscribe to our newsletter below.

Amy is Senior Marketing Manager at AppLovin Japan.